AP Psychology 2nd Quarter Project

Bryan Culler (Marquardt 4A)

Visual Cortex: Seeing the notes

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Bryan Culler

MOV 3123 by Bryan Culler

The visual cortex is used in one of the most basic parts of music, reading it. It receives input from your eyes so when you read what is on the page, you can then interpret it into meaning. Once you have the meaning of the notes, you can play them.

Top-Down Processing: Treble Clef

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Bryan Culler

IMG 0838 by Bryan Culler
Top-down processing uses prior knowledge to make educated guesses that are fairly accurate most of the time. This is useful with complicated notes and rhythms in sight reading because when you see it for the first time it helps you assume what the notes and rhythms will be. In addition if later in the same piece of music it repeats the same notes and rhythms it is easy to play because aside from a few exceptions you already know what it will sound like. When I sight read this piece, it's still easy to play the right notes with this process.

Bottom-Up Processing: Bass Clef

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I may use top-down processing for my clarinet, an instrument I've been playing for years, but that is only because it’s in treble clef. If I ever try to read bass clef it gets much more complicated and I am forced to shift into bottom-up processing. This process is used when there is little or no prior knowledge of something, and so the analysis starts with sensory receptors. Unlike in treble clef, when I look at the music I can’t just know what a note is, I have to think about it for a while and then I can attempt it.

Pons: Embouchure

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I use the pons often when switching between flute and clarinet and just when playing them in general. The pons is used for making facial expressions and other movement in the face muscles. I use this for my embouchure for both clarinet and flute, your embouchure is how you position your face, lips, and mouth onto an instrument in order to achieve sound and proper tone quality.

Implicit Memory: Memorizing Piano

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Bryan Culler

MOV 1533 by Bryan Culler

When I play piano I use implicit memory (nondeclarative.) This kind of memory is when previous experiences aid the task of retention without conscious recollection. I use this method because I technically don’t know how to actually play piano, but during the summer I spent some time memorizing the keys to some songs I wanted to play. Now if I ever want to play them, I can without really thinking about it, my fingers just know where to go.

Extrinsic Motivation: Memorizing Scales

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Bryan Culler

MOV 0242 by Bryan Culler

In band class there are these things called scales tests. For these tests, you have to memorize a number of scales and play them all for an accuracy grade. Most of the time this process is motivated by extrinsic motivation. This kind of motivation is when someone does something for the result. This applies to scales tests because most people would not want to try and learn scales just because; they only do it for the grade they receive after the test.

Intrinsic Motivation: Flute and Piano

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Intrinsic motivation is when someone does something simply because they enjoy doing that thing, it is its own incentive. Although I started out playing clarinet for school, I picked up the flute and learned some piano just because I thought those instruments sounded really cool. I don’t even play flute in a class, but I play it all the time because it’s fun to me.